But now I want to ask an overarching question: what do you all think, generally, about making kids’ food cute? I’m not talking so much about bento now, which is a culinary art form in Japan that, according to Wikipedia, traces back to the 1100’s. I’m talking about the more mundane stuff that parents resort to in an effort to get their kids — particularly stubborn toddlers — to eat: heart-shaped sandwiches, pancake teddy bears, broccoli “trees” and the rest.
My kid-and-food guru Ellyn Satter (the one who’s all about the division of responsibility between parent and child when it comes to food), has written about making food cute. I skimmed my Satter books this morning and couldn’t find the quote, but suffice it to say, she feels that if a parent is putting that much time and effort into trying to entice a child to eat, he/she needs to consider whether he/she has crossed the line of responsibility. On the other hand, I can hear parents asking, what’s the harm? If a picky eater is more likely to eat cucumber slices if they’re cut into little flower shapes, why not?
So here we go with another of my (admittedly lame) TLT polls . . . I’ll post the results in this week’s Friday Buffet.